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Invasion Earth

UK 2016
produced by
Steven M. Smith (executive), Paul G. Andrews (executive), Tariya Wells (executive), Gregory Schmauss (executive), Duane A. Sikes (executive) for Greenway Entertainment
directed by James Twyman, Steven M. Smith (co)
starring Charlotte Gould, Phoebe Delikoura, Nigel Thijs, David Shaw, Sammy Johnston, Cameron Bell, Darren James King, Colette Hughes, Cavan Holsgrove, Jonathan Jules, Ylana Lovell, Jon-Paul Gates, Tony Fadil, Rebecca Hughes, David Artus
written by James Twyman, music by Jon Bentley

review by
Mike Haberfelner

Dr. Carson (David Shaw) runs an alternative clinic - basically an old farmhouse in the middle of nowhere - for the rehabilitation of addicts of one form or another, and of course he got your typical mix of inmates here who mostly have chosen his treatment to a prison sentence, from racist Derek (Darren James King) to fallen from grace and heroin-addicted teen idol Vicky (Phoebe Delikoura), from nymphomaniac Ada (Charlotte Gould) to  woman in a man's body Simon/Cheryl (Cameron Bell), and everything in-between. In fact, he has that explosive a mix that he has hired former special forces man Thomas (Nigel Thijs) to keep things in check. But despite the explosive mix, it seems the therapy sessions are going really well and the worst thing Carson has to worry about is a sensation-hungry TV personality, Pierceson (Jon-Paul Gates), who has sworn to wreck Carson's clinic for no other reason than to have a good story that pretty much writes itself, no matter whether it's true or not. But Carson manages to handle that rather beautifully. Thing is, what nobody knows, aliens have landed in the neighbourhood to apparently prepare an invasion, and while Vicky's in voluntary solitary to overcome her withdrawal symptoms - and Thomas who was to watch over her is distracted by horny Ada - the aliens brainwash her to be one of theirs, and soon she's gone to come back as a killing machine. Now as all of the group works together, they manage to overcome Vicky (if not without losses), but now the aliens have caught their sense and start decimating them, starting with Carson as if to chopping off the head of the snake. Now most of the inmates are tougher than they look and think, also thanks to what they've learned Carson's therapy - but are they even remotely up to fighting an extraterrestrial force they can't even begin to understand ...

 

Now there's one thing one can certainly not blame Invasion Earth for, and that's not being daring: The first part of the film actually plays like a socio-realist drama with an agenda - that in all honesty might hit some clichés along the way but for the most part stays very grounded and is rather nicely carried by the actors. But halfway through the movie, the film completely changes tune rather surprisingly (even if there were plenty of hints to that before) and becomes a mix of alien invasion story and survival horror - and somehow it all makes sense, as the film manages to use the carefully set up characters in their new surroundings and gives them arks that go beyond just their addictions. And a very subtle directorial effort sees to it that despite its thematic shift the movie comes across as a coherent whole - and a cool ride at that.

 

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review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Tales to Chill
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Out now from
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On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
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starring
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out now on DVD